Plants can make a household colorful and fragrant. But sometimes, those same plants can be dangerous for canine residents. As a dog parent, it's important to know the most common dangerous plants and keep those out of the house.
At the end of each year, holiday plants bring extra color and life to homes. Unfortunately, some of these holiday plants aren't so great for the resident dogs. One of the most common, the poinsettia, is often thought to be extremely toxic to dogs, but in reality, the risk of poisoning is minimal. Poinsettias may cause some stomach upset, but are rarely fatal for dogs. Other holiday plants are more dangerous, including lilies, holly, amaryllis and mistletoe. All of these plants could potentially kill your dog and should never be accessible in the house. If you decide to decorate your home for the holidays, leave these common holiday plants off the list.
As spring emerges, so do the spring annuals. Two of the most popular spring plants in flower gardens and bouquets, daffodils and tulips, are dangerous for dogs. Both plants can cause vomiting, excessive salivation and diarrhea. Many other spring bulb plants are also toxic, including iris, gladiola and crocus. If your dog eats a large number of the plants, he may have cause seizures, low blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. The bulbs are the most dangerous part of the plant, but the flowers, stems and leaves are also toxic.
• Aloe Vera
• Pencil Cactus
Succulent plants are easy houseplants to care for, but can be dangerous for dogs. Unfortunately, succulents are especially tempting for dogs, since they are rubbery like a dog chew toy. Aloe vera and jade plants are toxic and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, tremors and an irregular heartbeat. In large quantities, both jade and aloe vera can be fatal for dogs. The pencil cactus can also cause stomach upset for dogs, but is not usually fatal.
• Asparagus Fern
• Fern Berries
Ferns are common patio or porch plants. Many varieties of ferns, including the asparagus, emerald, lace and plumosa ferns, can cause skin irritation if your dog rubs against the leaves. The berries of most ferns are more dangerous, though. Ingesting the berries could cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite or even death if enough berries are eaten. If you have ferns at your house, hang them high and clean up any berries that fall.
By Susan Leisure
ASPCA: Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants
Apartment Therapy: Common House Plants that are Toxic to Pets
Cornell University Department of Pet Place: 20 Common House Plants: Are They Dangerous to Your Dog?
Pet Health Care Gazette: Are Poinsettias Poisonous for Your Dog or Cat?
About the Author
Susan Leisure is the director of an animal welfare organization and owner of a holistic pet supply store in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a master's degree from Emory University, and is currently completing a degree in clinical pet nutrition.
wn College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.